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Ukrainian ambassador Bankov: Attempt to burn Cernauti schools, not singular; new stage in hybrid war
Olekandr Bankov

Ukrainian Ambassador to Bucharest Oleksandr Bankov, said on Wednesday at a press conference that the attempt to burn down two schools in Cernauti providing Romanian language tuition was not a singular case, adding that these actions represent a new stage in the hybrid war triggered by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

"It is very well known and information has recently been carried been by the media, the Romanian press included, about some attempts made on the territory of Ukraine by the secret services of the Russian Federation, using Ukrainian citizens, to organise the burning of two schools in the region of Ceranuti. This is no singular case, and practically since January this year, the Security Service of Ukraine has managed to prevent more than ten cases that had been planned, coordinated and organised by secret services of the Russian. This, in our opinion, is a new phase in this hybrid war that is being waged by the Russian Federation against the Ukrainian state. We are all witnessing the threat crossing the contact line or the Donbas front, where there is a defensive war against the Russian Federation, and the threat is now coming to the western borders. What is even more worrying is that this threat is now also targeting the national minorities in the state of Ukraine. That is, the cynicism, probably at its highest, of the Russian regime, which, without even hiding is trying to conduct some terrorist acts against educational organisations, in fact against children," the ambassador said at the news conference.

He added that Ukraine firmly condemns all these attempts and will continue to take preventive actions.

The ambassador also said that the advance payment to the alleged arsonist who were to carry out the fire was 10,000 rubles.

The ambassador also replied to a press statement released by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Bucharest, which alleged that the news story released by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) about the Romanian schools targeted by attempted arson was fake news, claiming that the regime in Kiev would like to distract Ukraine's neighbours from the forced Ukrainisation policy it has been constantly pursuing, and which was most prominent in the adoption of a discriminatory education law.

The ambassador mentioned that a fire broke out at the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Uzhgorod on Monday night.

"Yesterday night a fire broke out in Uzhgorod at the Hungarian Cultural Centre. Unfortunately, there was no way to prevent it, and a terrorist attack was successfully carried through, I can say, against this cultural centre. There is only material damage and no human fatalities, given that it occurred at night. At the moment, all the necessary activities are being carried out," he added.

Russian secret services planned the burning of two schools in Cernnauti providing Romanian language tuition, the Press Office of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on Friday.

The Romanian Foreign Ministry has firmly condemned any action against schools in Ukraine providing Romanian language tuition, announcing that it was taking the necessary steps to obtain more details about the circumstances of these attempts and how the rightful Ukrainian authorities acted in this situation.


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